Today the Santa Clara County Bar Association released the results of its biennial judicial evaluation survey.
It’s kind of like Rate My Professors, only without the insightful comments from students (as in one Boalt student saying of a professor: “incapable of making a clear statement with re to particular rules of law.”).
The sample size varies from judge to judge, so it’s impossible to compare judges. In fact, the bar association sternly cautions “any group, particularly the media, which may attempt to rank or use rankings derived from the survey results, that such rankings are an abuse of the survey results.”
After the jump: We throw caution to the winds and abuse the results!
An unscientific perusal by Legal Pad found that 10 Santa Clara County Superior Court judges who attracted a lot of survey responses were judges Susan Bernardini, William Elfving, James Huber, Jamie Jacobs-May, James Kleinberg, Katherine Lucero, Socrates Manoukian, Kevin McKenney, Kevin Murphy and Brian Walsh.
Judge Elfving scored high for his judicial temperament, with 87.3 percent of lawyers saying it’s excellent. Only one lawyer said he was a real pill, ahem, giving him an unsatisfactory rating in that category. Reasons for negative responses get sent confidentially to the judges.
Jacobs-May, the court’s presiding judge, got high marks for her integrity, with 74 percent of respondents saying it’s excellent and 16 percent saying it’s very good.
Lucero drew a mixed bag in the category of “knowledge of law and procedure.” Of the lawyers responding, 72.2 percent found her to be satisfactory in this category, while 8 percent said she was excellent, 14 percent said she was very good and two lawyers said she needed improvement.
You can also compare the 2009 results with the 2007 ones, in case you want to see how your favorite judge is progressing.
— Kate Moser